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Latest revision as of 10:20, 27 March 2010

Solder is a fusible metal alloy with a melting point or melting range of 90 to 450 °C (200 to 840 °F), used in soldering where it is melted to join metallic surfaces. It is especially useful in electronics and plumbing. Alloys that melt between 180 and 190 °C are the most commonly used.

On July 1, 2006 the European Union Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE) and Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) came into effect prohibiting the intentional addition of lead to most consumer electronics produced in the EU. California recently adopted a RoHS law and China has a version as well. Manufacturers in the U.S. may receive tax benefits by reducing the use of lead-based solder.

Lead-free solders in commercial use may contain tin, copper, silver, bismuth, indium, zinc, antimony, and traces of other metals. Most lead-free replacements for conventional Sn60/Pb40 and Sn63/Pb37 solder have melting points from 5–20 °C higher, though solders with much lower melting points are available.

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